Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron skates up the ice during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Boston. Credit: Charles Krupa / AP

The Bruins’ already thin forward group has lost its leader as Patrice Bergeron became the latest Boston player to enter the NHL’s COVID protocols.

He joined Brad Marchand and Craig Smith, who both entered protocols Tuesday.

After the Bruins’ Tuesday loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, coach Bruce Cassidy hoped his team’s COVID outbreak had been contained but admitted concern about what might come next.

The Bruins are scheduled to travel to Long Island to face the New York Islanders in a playoff rematch Thursday. But further positive tests could put that game in jeopardy. Both the Flames and Hurricanes have had games canceled due to outbreaks.

According to NESN’s Sophia Jurksztowicz the Bruins have adjusted travel plans:

“Bruins staying in New York after Thursday’s game instead of flying to MTL right away for Saturday in case anyone tests positive (so they don’t get stuck in Canada for Christmas.”

The Bruins played Calgary on Saturday. Nine Flames players had gone into protocols as of Tuesday and 17 more players and staff were added Wednesday.

Bergeron is second on the Bruins in goals (10) and assists (13). He is the team’s top faceoff man, penalty killer and the center on the team’s No. 1 playoff unit.

Matt Vautour,